Preparations are well under way for the meeting of the International Tax Planning Association at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at the beginning of December. To people attending a conference, the entire event seems to happen spontaneously and without any prior preparation. But spontaneity, as the Chairman of ITPA meetings is always at pains to point out to the speakers, is in reality a well-rehearsed illusion: months before the Welcome Reception on the 6 December, the speakers have prepared their ‘bullet points’, and these are communicated to members of the Association by its newsletter and on its website.
Timothy Ridley’s introductory talk looks at the Cayman Islands and the future, and looks at the reasons for believing – and not believing – that Cayman will survive and thrive. Hedge funds and private equity are the topics covered by Nicholas Butcher. He compares and contrasts these two vehicles, and looks at whether a company, partnership or trust is the most appropriate for them. He deals with the difficult issue of managing liquidity and looks at the future of regulation – a very topical issue.
The unique Caymanian feature – the STAR Trust is the principle subject in Justin Appleyard’s talk. He outlines their features, indicates their general uses and looks at new STAR Trust solutions for settlers and trustees. The last talk on the first morning will be given by Marshall Langer. He is well known to be a mine of information on all aspects of international tax planning.
On this occasion he talks about how the IRS gets information from the Caribbean jurisdictions – the treaties, TIEAs, MLATs and the Hague Evidence Convention. He explains that some Caribbean jurisdictions sign TIEAs to escape the OECD grey list, and that both Cayman and St. Kitts & Nevis provide unilateral assistance.
The private trust company is a relatively new weapon in the tax planner’s armoury. On the second day of the meeting, Andrew Miller outlines the regulations and statutory provisions governing the private trust company in Cayman. He indicates how private trust companies are used in practice, and discusses their advantages and disadvantages.
At this point the programme moves to horizons beyond the Caribbean. Rahul Ranadive talks about Cayman and the US taxpayer – inbound and outbound trusts and investments, the problems of the ‘Accidental American’ and the significance for the Cayman Islands and other offshore jurisdictions of the UBS case and disclosure of offshore activities to taxing authorities in the United States and other countries.
Stephen L Cantor’s topic is ‘Cayman and the Latin American Taxpayer’. He looks at the political, economic and personal safety considerations of the Latin American client, the problems of families with multi-jurisdictional fiscal status, pre-immigration tax and estate planning and jurisdictions with fiscal blacklists and tax treaties. He has perceptive things to say about why STAR Trusts and private trust companies are attractive to the Latin American client.
The last talk of the morning is given by Milton Grundy, who is the President of the Association and Chairman of the meeting. Under the heading of ‘cosmetics’, he propounds the view that an offshore transaction should not only be lawful but should preferably invite little attention. He looks at Dutch and other ‘sandwiches’, at obtaining treaty relief by the use of sub-trusts and at planning for royalty streams. He also examines the use of foreign insurance policies as vehicles for direct investments in the United States.
On each of the two days, the four morning talks are followed by pre-lunch drinks and lunch, and in the afternoon, there are discussion sessions with the speakers, where members have the opportunity of discussing topics of particular interest in separate groups.
At the end of the second day of the meeting, a summary of all the talks is sent to members by e-mail, and this is later followed by the Journal, which contains edited transcripts of all the talks given at the meeting.
If you are not already a member of the ITPA, and think you might want to come to the December meeting, please contact:
PO Box 134, Sevenoaks
Kent TN15 6SZ, UK